Everyone warned us about sleep deprivation before Owen joined us. It is what it is, we thought, sleep or no sleep we’ll just have to roll with it. I stayed mostly awake during the nights at the hospital as Owen napped and nursed on top of me. The nurses also came to check on us every few hours throughout the night. Owen cried occasionally. Yet, somehow Peter was able to sleep through it all on the tiny pulled out sofa. On the second night, Peter slept undisturbed from 11pm to 7am. I couldn’t wake him from my bed and really struggled to carry Owen with me to the bathroom. It was infuriating.
Things have improved since we came home. Instead of having Owen on top of me each night, I would feed him and then pass him to Peter, who is a much more sound sleeper than I am and doesn’t mind having Owen sleep on top of him. We did purchase an used Arms Reach for our bedroom just in case we needed it. But we had decided long ago that we were going to cosleep with our baby. It’s the only thing that makes sense. What baby would want to sleep alone after spending all nine months snuggly inside mom’s belly? Besides, Owen is such a beautiful baby. I would hate to miss out on sleeping next to him and watch his peaceful little face and hear him breath. So yes, Owen sleeps with us on our king size bed with tons and pillows and blankets and two wild felines. It’s not recommended by the AAP but it works for us.
Last night was the first time Owen slept through the entire night without fuss. Normally he gets bothered by gas between 3-4am so we have to walk him around and give him gas drops. I started him on probiotic drops two days ago to build his digestive system. I don’t know if it’s that or pure luck that last night, he didn’t make a sound at all. Peter changed his diaper once and I side nursed him a few times while laying down. We slept so well that Peter even said he’s worried that he’s getting too much sleep.
People assume just because we have a newborn that we’re by default stressed out and sleep deprived. In reality things couldn’t be more different. I have never been so relaxed and well rested now that I no longer have to stay up late to work on a law school paper or wake up in the morning panicking whether I f*ed up a project and the client is now going to fire us. I get to sleep in each morning and nap each afternoon. There is no pressure to do anything except to feed Owen and keep him healthy. For someone who have always raced from one difficult task to the next, this somehow feels like the ultimate copout. There is no stress except maybe to get started on this blog. But this kind of writing is something I want to and enjoy doing.
Some things need to be written down as a way to process and let go. Other things needs to be treasured so they’re not quickly forgotten. These days are filled with so many moments in the second category that I wish I had more time to capture them all.